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June 5, 2006

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2008
Maybe the pundits are right: The only Democrat who can win the White House in 2008 is a moderate former southern statewide official, someone who lost a humiliating presidential election and was cast into the political wilderness by his party, a chastened outsider ready for a thrilling comeback [“The Comeback Kid,” by John Heilemann, May 29]. Someone who has an air of unassailable integrity, an un-Clinton who would never lie to score political points or prime his poll numbers. A good Christian with strong morals, ready to appeal to red-state Evangelicals. Forget Al Gore. Jimmy Carter in 2008!
—Wayne Hoffman, Manhattan

Why did your May 29 cover have to make Al Gore look like Beelzebub? Did Hillary supply the artwork?
—Sidney L. Delson, East Hampton, N.Y.

I can attest that Republicans salivate at the thought of Hillary Clinton or Al Gore running in 2008. Democrats should run Hillary or Al only if they relish the déjà vu of being crushed like mindless bugs.
—Tom Volkema, Manhattan

Club King
Reading Lianne George’s story about Peter Gatien reminded me of one night at Limelight in 1996 [“Bright Lights, Medium-Size City,” May 29]. The club was being raided by police. After searching patrons for drugs and staff for outstanding warrants, two police officers walked into Peter’s office, where he and I were waiting. They hadn’t found anything. Just as they were leaving, Peter’s cat jumped across the desk and, ka-boom, Limelight was cited for endangering the health of an animal. It was the only violation they could point to, but it was enough to keep Peter from being able to complain about police harassment. I remember him saying that night that he just couldn’t win. As George’s story shows, the biggest losers in the long run are the city and all of us who live here.
—Baird Jones, Manhattan

Columbia 100-Graduate Poll
I was disappointed to see that in your survey of 100 Columbia graduates, only women were asked if they would stop working when they had kids [“Intelligencer: Pomp and New Circumstances,” May 29]. Isn’t it possible that at least a few of the men would be stay-at-home dads? To suggest otherwise undermines what the women you pictured and surveyed accomplished over the past four years.
—Julie Ehrlich, Manhattan

Sexual Abuse
The dominant theme in the Orthodox community is that social problems should be dealt with in-house [“On the Rabbi’s Knee,” by Robert Kolker, May 22]. Involving the greater secular public is a Chillul Hashem. Children hear this term on a near-daily basis. Although sexual abuse may be the greatest of crimes, it’s hardly the only one. While attending a respected yeshiva high school in New York, I was appalled by the rampant cheating, especially on school-administered AP exams and SATs. When I approached an administrator, he warned me that if I made this a public issue, the school would deny everything and I would be ostracized by the community, guilty of creating a Chillul Hashem. The same justification is given to minimize incidents of drug and alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, tax evasion, racism, and many other sins.
—Alexander Chester, Jerusalem, Israel

How can we believe Kolker’s story when there are throngs of happy boys who have passed through Rebbe Kolko’s class to build beautiful families like my own husband has? The dirty truth is that this is all about money. The accusers know that the yeshiva has millions, and they’re going to sue the school’s pants off. These lies have brought hell to our community. May G-d get His revenge for all the unnecessary evil.
—Name withheld, Brooklyn

Upper West Side Kids
As one of the parents profiled in Melena Ryzik’s “Can You Sue a Kid Smart?” [“Intelligencer,” May 22], I was extremely disappointed. The article makes it seem as if we’re trying to manipulate the system to gain access to the gifted-and-talented program. It portrays the Renaissance Renegades as a group of whiny and litigious Upper West Siders. We’re not—we’re concerned and involved parents trying to do right by our children, our school, and our community.
—Karen Ticktin, Manhattan

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